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No progress made in narrowing down potential new bridge locations

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BATON ROUGE - Monday, the Capital Area Road and Bridge District met to get updates on the new bridge, only to find little progress had been made.

The list of potential locations, squeezed down from over 30 to 17, is now back up to 20 after the firm in charge decided it ruled out three prematurely.

West Baton Rouge Parish President "Pee Wee" Berthelot became a little frustrated with the move backward.

"People want to know why you need to study it so much, why study, study, you get tired of studies, and it's hard to give them an answer, particularly when you seem to be edging forward, and then now we're going backward. I think now we should be around maybe six or seven routes on the table right now," he said.

Even after a location is secured, federal funding still needs to be allocated—the state expecting a billion dollars for bridge work over five years, but more than three billion is needed to fix the state's current bridges.

So far, no priorities have been set.

"We have not submitted a priority list because we are still waiting on rules and regulations," Sec. Shawn Wilson said.

The firm in charge is still anticipating the list of locations to be narrowed down to three by the summer.

The next step in the process is getting public input.

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